Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Smoked Pork Loin with Grilled Cherry Tomatoes and Snow Peas - Grilling Time
Massaged Kale Fruit Salad - Day One of How I Spent my Summer Vacation. This is the main course and vegetables that went with the salad. I was trying to earn my keep by making dinner for Chris and Alexis; Chris of the Nibble Me This Blog (Master of the Big Green Egg and his grill). This is the meal I made for them in exchange for a couple of night's stay while traveling to the East Tennessee Blogger get together scheduled the next day.
We had spent the day at the local farmer's market which gave me a chance to pick out a few of the prettier and tastier items. I have spent the winter cooking Italian food. While not a specific authentic Italian recipe, these dishes (and the Kale Salad) are examples of what I learned about cooking... Simple ingredients, let the flavors shine, cooked to their peak to allow the flavors and textures sing.
For presentation, serve family style on platters... It's just more fun!
Grilled Pineapple served a couple of purposes... Pretty garnish, but also a built in dessert. Besides we had enough left over from the Kale Salad.
The Pork Loin was smoked, indirect heat on Chris's Big Green Egg. the outside was rubbed with a Jerk Spice Mix (commercial brand), then coated with a couple of teaspoons of Whole Grain Mustard. This will season the loin, help to keep the moisture inside and provide a wonderful taste to the meat.
Smoking Pork Loin is about as easy as it gets and can be done on any home grill. Simply set the grill up for indirect heat with the hot coals (or gas jets) NOT under the meat. This way the heat circulates around the meat rather than just underneath (That's direct heat or grilling). I got Egg lessons from Chris and used the heat deflecting plate. The Pork was cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees and then removed from the heat to "rest" for 10 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat so it is moist and tender when served.
While the meat is resting, we readjusted the Egg for direct heat. HOT coals under a grill pan (one of those pans with holes in it that allows small vegetables to be grilled.
I had prepped the cherry tomatoes and snow peas, simply washing them,trimming the ends of the peas and chopping a Vidalia Onion to the size of the tomatoes. Then I minced some garlic. All this needs to be coated with Olive oil and mixed together.
Into the grill pan, direct heat over the coals until the peas are snappy but slightly wilted, the tomatoes start to burst as the heat simmers the juices inside, bringing out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. the onions just turn translucent and begin to soften... Al Dente vegetables.
When all is ready, slice the pork loin thinly, arrange around the platter, add the vegetables into the center, garnish with the pineapple rings and serve HOT and Enjoy!!!
It was pretty intimidating to cook alongside a master griller like Chris, but at least for this meal I think I held my own! COme back tomorrow as we travel to Larry's boat dock for the East Tennessee Blogger Party!!!